The Pulse of Natural Health Newsletter

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FDA To Redefine “Healthy” Once Again

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As usual, the agency is using outdated science and is heavily influenced by industry. Action Alert!

Following the recent update to the Nutrition Facts label and the approval of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the FDA is proposing to update the definition of “healthy” and in federal regulations. The idea is to harmonize the regulatory definition of “healthy” (as well as related terms) with the “latest nutrition science,” presumably contained in the newly approved guidelines.

Surprisingly, the FDA believes what is contained in the Dietary Guidelines is the most up-to-date science—but, as usual, they are woefully incorrect. When the guidelines came out, we outlined in detail the problems with the panel’s recommendations.

Just look at what the Dietary Guidelines say about saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Briefly put, the guidelines advise reducing or limiting all three, despite good evidence to the contrary, some of it even now acknowledged by the government. For example, the government otherwise now admits that dietary cholesterol is not an issue. So why should it be reduced or limited? Not only is dietary cholesterol not an issue—many people taking statin drugs end up with too little cholesterol, which is the basic building block for all of our hormones. We will die if we don’t have enough of what the government calls “bad cholesterol.”

If the FDA looked further, the agency would see the most recent evidence showing that saturated fat is not linked to heart disease, and that too little sodium intake can pose many health hazards. And one cannot advise on the amount of sodium without considering the balance with potassium. The FDA notes that many people are low in potassium, but again it is balance that is crucial—yet the recommendation for potassium remains unchanged.

The FDA is proposing two major changes to its dietary recommendations. The old definition of “healthy” set upper limits for total fat content, saturated fat, and cholesterol, and lower limits for vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, protein, and fiber. Sodium limits were also placed on some foods.

The new Dietary Guidelines no longer recommend a low-fat diet, so the total fat component of the “healthy” definition is relaxed. Foods made up predominately of mono- and polyunsaturated fats will be able to be labeled “healthy” under certain conditions. It seems obvious to us that the FDA simply does not have the expertise to sort out these fats. The limits on saturated fat remain.

The second change pertains to the lower limits for nutrients. The specific nutrients listed above were included in the definition of “healthy” because they were identified as nutrients “of public health concern.” The new Dietary Guidelines identify potassium and vitamin D as nutrients of public health concern, so now if foods contain at least a certain percentage of these nutrients, they can use the “healthy” label. This is of course ridiculous. Take unhealthy food and add some “nutrient of public concern” and now it is healthy?

It is interesting that the Dietary Guidelines identify specific nutrients of concern, but fail to recognize any role for dietary supplements in achieving recommended nutrient levels. In our official comments in response to the guidelines, we noted that the status of the American food supply is such that food, even if eaten properly, cannot supply all of the nutrients needed for healthy living.

Vitamins D and K are examples: there just isn’t enough in food, even if you have the best diet and find the best food grown on great soil. Calling a food “healthy” which has only 10% of the vitamin D the government recommends you eat each day (a recommendation which is already pitifully low) is hardly going to address the nutrient deficiencies experienced by millions of Americans nor optimize the health of other Americans. As for vitamin K, the government does not yet appear to understand the essential role it plays, especially in making calcium available to our bones.

The bottom line here is that the FDA has no business defining what “healthy” is, given its lack of scientific expertise (noted in a congressional audit) and especially its extensive crony ties to industry. Notice that no limitations were placed on the amount of sugar or added sugar contained in the current definition of “healthy,” which boggles the mind. So on the one hand, we have a completely phony definition of what “healthy” is, and on the other hand the agency is severely restricting companies’ ability to communicate the real health benefits of their products.

Action Alert! Write to the FDA. Tell them that their new definition of “healthy” is not using the most up-to-date science, especially on saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol, and that their new Dietary Guidelines fail to recognize any role for dietary supplements to achieve recommended nutrient levels. Please send your message immediately.

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  • Reader5k

    It is well and good that your website has strong contentions with the FDA’s claims and studies — but for the benefit of newcomers and the more academic readers, I suggest that more links to citation (and a bibliography list at the end) be supplied to support each and every counter-argument in your reports. ANH must not be lulled into thinking it has total convincing power just because it has been proven right historically in some contentious cases: the support of your readers has to be earned and hard-fought, just as ANH expects the FDA to fight hard to convince the public.

    • eyesandears

      This newsletter is sent with the express purpose of keeping its readership updated on pending regulatory actions; it is not, nor professes to be, a scientific publication. It becomes so tiring to read commenters’ redundant requests, as if stuck in echolalia mode, to ‘cite the study’ or ‘provide a link.’ The reader may choose to ‘take action,’ close the window, or seek additional information.

      There is much to be said for taking the initiative to do personal research. We each differ in our backgrounds and levels of understanding. It is the individual reader alone who realizes the extent of his knowledge; therefore, If, in the reading, he identifies information ‘gaps,’ then let him seek out that which meets his personal requirements for coming into full comprehension. Having undertaken such an effort insures a more complete assimilation which will not soon be forgotten.

      • Average Joe American

        Exactly right. Anyone who actually follows FDA guidelines for their definition of “health” is probably not receiving or reading this newsletter, and the purport of the article is not oh, gosh, look what the FDA is doing! Rather it’s, oh crap, here we go again, people…

        Anyone who’s studied natural food and dietary supplementation for almost ANY length of time, whether vegetarian, paleo, macrobiotic, or anything else, is not going to waste their time reading another article for beginners about what’s wrong with the FDA approved SAD.

        This article is yet another call to action for initiates, not newbies.

        Personally, having studied nutrition since the early days of Adele Davis, Max Gerson, Dr. Atkins, and Gary Null–over 40 years–I no longer feel motivated by a desire to beg government appointed criminals to please stop doing what they’re paid to do by vested interests. Perhaps that’s just me, I weary of it.

        There are still grandparents out there placidly watching the grand kids grow up on sucrose-frosted genetically modified flakes, HFCS bologna & canola mayo on Wonder Bread, washed down with corn syrup Coke, Kraft Mac & Cheese for dinner, ice cream and cake for dessert. The big agro/food people who make this stuff pay the FDA to tell us it’s okay to eat it. If Johnny or Jeanie bounce off the walls or fall asleep in class, the FDA approves big pharma’s behavioral drugs to fix the problem. The whole setup is so obviously and unabashedly rigged I’d feel silly pointing it out to them yet again. (Well, I do feel silly for all the times I have done so over the years–rather like asking boa constrictor not to crush you once it’s coiled itself around you. Of course it’s going to crush and eat you, it’s a boa constrictor).

  • it was not until i started eating real butter that my cholesterol sky rocketed and actually started to cause plaque to stick to the walls of my arteries. I got rid of the butter and now my levels are down. Sat fat causes high cholesterol and high cholesterol causes plaque. The plaque then sticks you your arteries. I say no thanks to a heart attack.Give me a break. Stop trying to kill people with garb.

    • Average Joe American

      Idly curious questions:

      1. Was it pure grass-fed dairy or GMO soy and corn fed? Was it pasteurized (killed)? Was it salted with common aluminized table salt or with unprocessed, mined sea salt? Did you use it to butter Wonder Bread and sugar rolls with? Canned GMO sweet corn, perhaps?

      2. Was anything else going on in your life and/or diet which would cause your liver to produce excessive cholesterol (since dietary cholesterol has been proven to have no impact on blood serum cholesterol)?

      3. Did you read the part of the article where it said: “… the government otherwise now admits that dietary cholesterol is not an issue”?

      4. What is “garb” (in the non-clothing sense)?

      5. You’ve obviously strayed a long way from the approved federal food pyramid to wind up trolling here, of all places. How’d that happen?

      • 1BR_81

        #4 is probably short for garbage, don’t you think? All these government albphabet units need thorough investigating.

        • Average Joe American

          I imagine so, but the question is: Is the reference to “garbage” food, or “garbage” info?
          My experience, and that of everyone I know or know of, has been that natural fats are beneficial. The human race could scarcely have reached this point in evolution were this not the case.

    • AiVaz

      Dear, you have it all wrong. Read the work of Dr. Mary Enig, for starters, then that of Dr. Uffe Ravnskov.

  • Lea Harrison

    “PIZZA GATE” WE ARE NOT MOVING AWAY FROM THE SPIRIT COOKING RT? THAT TRUMPS U HAVE A NYPD AND MANY GLOBAL PEOPLES = HUMANITY’S MISSING CHILDREN TREMENDIOUS CRISIS. POLITICS CONGRESS’S GLOBALLY. STEPPING DOWN WARD WAR POPPIES PLAYS A HUGE PART IN THE CRISIS BY STATE USA GLOBALLY. WHAT ABOUT THE VIDEO “PIZZA GATE” PEDOPHILES CHURCH STATE GREAT CONNECT THE DOTS HOW HIGH DOES THE SITUATION FOR NO BEST WORD GO? RED PLANET OCCUPANTS AS WELL AS 82 OTHERS ASSITANCE MU SAYS TO ME..WATER WORLDERS INNER WORLDERS SAYS WE NEED TIME TO DEBRIEF AND DECONTAMINATE ..GIANTS ARE APPROACHING. U HUMANS ARE PLAYING>>>>EVACUATION CURRENT POPULATIONS NECESSARY.

    KOKO HAS A MATE OFF PLANET UPON A BIO SPHERE. NO KIDDING. ASK HER. WE TALK OFTEN. CAROL LOL SHE KNOW I HAVE A NEW KITTEN HE IS BITING ME. CLOUD KITTEN MISSION TO GO HOME LYRIAN.Y ARE U LIMITING MY WORDS? DUTCH TURNED OFF AT THE TIME MOST NEEDED? CONGRESS WHAT U THINKIN?Tsunami warnings lifted after 7.4 quake strikes Fukushima coastline RT..11/21/16 10pm earthquake update dutchsinse coppertropicals
    Big Pharma Reaches into the Womb 1
    By anh-usa on November 22, 2016 Stop Poisoning Ourselves
    If vaccinating pregnant mothers weren’t bad enough, now the vaccine companies would like a twofer by also going after the child in utero. Action Alert!
    For many months now, we’ve been monitoring the progress of the 21st Century Cures bill. This legislation is intended to bring medicine into the 21st century, but as we’ve noted before, it does the opposite. Rather than looking forward, this bill simply doubles down on conventional approaches that have been in place for decades.
    21st Century Cures passed the House last year. The Senate has broken up the bill into over a dozen separate pieces, which could be considered any day now.
    11/21/16 10pm earthquake update dutchsinsecoppertropicals DUTCH HAS THE TIMES PLACE STATION DOWN LIKE A CLOCK TIC TOC WTF UP.
    STANDING ROCK ACLU DEBRIEF DECONTAMINATION .LOLI URGE U TO GET HUMANITY OFF THE PLANET. DUE TO EXTINCTION LEVEL.DEBRIEF DECONTAMINATION HUMANITY. FRESH FOOD AIR WATER. CELL CHANGES NEW IDEAS HEALING OCCURES PLANET IS NOT HEALTHY AT THIS MOMENT WHAT ARE WE HUMANS GOING TO DO WE ARE EXTINCTION LEVEL 3.11. WE ARE AT 11.22.16. PLANET SYSTEM IS APPROACHING. I KNOW I HAVE QUESTIONS I CAN NOT GIVE ANSWERS TO PERSON. I REFUSE INFACT TO EVEN TALK SITUATIONS. I AM 5 GENERATION ET CONTACTEE. I AM ON THAT LIST HIGH ON THAT LIST. I REQUEST MY SHIP. I KNOW WHERE I AM GOING. SHIP TOOLS MU FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS EST. EONS UPON EONS AGO IN BEFORE TIME. POST BOOK 2 FOR THE DAY. LOTS OF LOVE.1987 a bill in congress NOW IN THAT PIGEON(I AM USING A WORD FROM MU. FOR SOME REASON THE WEB DOES NOT LOVE THIS WORD..AT ALL. SO I AM NOT CLAIMING THE WORD I REQUIRE DEBRIEF DECONTAMINATION SHIPS TOOLS MU FAMILY LOVE THOSE WORDS. PIGEON HOLED. THEY CONGRESS WHERE TO IMPLIMENT A LAW OR MOVE IN TO LAW A STIPEN TO BLACK AMERICA. JUST LIKE IN THE 60 WHEN ALL THIS RACE WAS POPULAR I WAS A YOUNG GIRL AND WAS ON A FAR HIGHER PATH WITH A REPORT OF A SITE AND CHURCH PARTICIPATION IN THE WOMB. U REALLY WANT TO TALK RACISM?The domestic pigeon (Columba livia domestica) is a pigeon that was derived from the rock pigeon.